Nursing

In an effort to address a statewide shortage of nurses and the high demand for other health professionals, Mercy Health and Bowling Green State University announced today that they have signed a letter of intent to transfer operations of Mercy College of Ohio to BGSU.

mercy-college

Mercy Health will serve as a key partner with BGSU and will provide clinical experiences for students and employment opportunities for graduates. Together the organizations will also explore ways to enhance the health and well-being of their communities through research, grants and other training opportunities.

According to leaders of the organizations, linking Mercy College’s strong, established programs and the clinical expertise of Mercy Health with BGSU’s academic breadth and scope as a tier-one, comprehensive public university will benefit students and the state. BGSU students come from throughout Ohio and the Midwest, aligning with the service areas of Mercy Health, Ohio’s largest health care provider.

“This partnership is a great fit,” said BGSU President Rodney Rogers. “As a public university, we have an obligation to create public good. That meshes seamlessly with Mercy’s mission to provide health care and wellness services to all in need. Together, we can strengthen health care education in Ohio and better serve our students.”

“Nurses and allied health professionals are absolutely essential for providing high-quality health care in this region,” said Bob Baxter, president and CEO of Mercy Health - Toledo Region. “We’re already experiencing a nationwide shortage of nurses and the need is growing as our population ages. By working with BGSU, we can better meet that demand and enhance our ability to serve our patients and families in northwest Ohio and across the state. We look forward to aligning our mission with BGSU’s and to continue reaching both traditional and nontraditional students for the betterment of our communities.”
 
“Health care is such an important industry in Ohio and our colleges and universities must continue to innovate in order to meet the workforce needs of this growing sector of the economy,” said John Carey, chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. “Pending final review and approval of the proposal, I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and administrators at BGSU and Mercy College on next steps in order to meet the need for health care professionals in Ohio.”

BGSU and Mercy Health have begun the due diligence process necessary to execute an agreement. The transfer, which would include Mercy College’s nine degree programs and six certificate programs, is expected to take two to three years to complete. In the meantime, Mercy College will continue to serve its approximately 1,500 students.

“Mercy College and BGSU are deeply committed to ensuring the continued success of our Mercy students,” said Mercy College President Dr. Susan Wajert. “All current students, a record 1,300 in multiple degree programs in Toledo and 200 in an associate degree program in Youngstown, will be able to complete their programs of study. Given the breadth of BGSU’s academic programs and its robust student-life offerings, we’ll be able to offer more students a deeper, richer college experience.”

bgsu mercy press conference 850wBGSU is committed to honoring Mercy College and the Sisters of Mercy’s 100-year legacy of providing quality education in nursing and other health care program disciplines, aligned with the mission of Mercy Health.

According to BGSU, Mercy College faculty and staff will continue to be an essential part of program operations following the transition.

“We look forward to welcoming Mercy College faculty and staff to the BGSU family,” said Dr. Sue Houston, BGSU vice president for academic partnerships. “Their expertise and dedication will be absolutely critical to the success of our students and these academic programs.”

According to Baxter, changing market dynamics and declining reimbursement for provider-based nursing programs are also factors in Mercy Health’s decision to pursue a relationship with BGSU.

“This will allow us to focus on our core business – providing nationally recognized health care programs and services locally and across Ohio and Kentucky,” Baxter said. "At the same time, we’ll benefit from an expanded pipeline of qualified, highly trained nurses and allied health professionals by allowing BGSU to do what they do best – preparing students for careers and life.”

For more than 40 years, BGSU had partnered with the former Medical College of Ohio and then the University of Toledo (UT) in a unique consortium for nursing education. Earlier this year, UT notified BGSU that it wanted to phase out its partnership. As a result, BGSU has been working to develop a full nursing program.

 “When UT approached us about discontinuing the consortium, we both recognized that it limited our ability to meet the growing demand for nurses and health care providers,” Rogers said. “Adding Mercy College to BGSU gives us high-quality, extremely competitive nursing and allied health programs that we can build upon and grow. We look forward to building upon this initiative with Mercy Health and upon our partnerships with other health care providers to continue developing new programs to meet the workforce needs of the state of Ohio in health care.”
 
Any final agreement will require the approval of the BGSU Board of Trustees and the boards of trustees for Mercy College and Mercy Health. In addition, the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the Higher Learning Commission, the Ohio Board of Nursing, the U.S. Department of Education, and professional accrediting bodies for each of the accredited programs will also need to approve the plan.

About BGSU

Bowling Green State University is a tier-one, comprehensive public university serving more than 20,000 students on two campuses in northwest Ohio. The University has nationally recognized programs and research in the natural and social sciences, education, arts, business, health and wellness, humanities and applied technologies.

About Mercy College of Ohio

Mercy College of Ohio is a member of Mercy Health, the largest health care provider in the State of Ohio, and one of the largest health systems in the country. A Catholic health care ministry, Mercy Health employs more than 33,500 and provides nationally recognized programs and services at more than 600 points of care across Ohio and Kentucky.

Frequently Asked Questions

Higher education is changing rapidly. A recent Inside Higher Ed Special Report documents the increasing trend of mergers of colleges and universities due to increasing financial pressures, shifts in student populations and the desire to preserve mission and values into the future. The report notes that between 2010 and 2018 there were approximately 55 mergers. By working together through public-private partnerships like these, higher education can better meet workforce needs.

All Mercy College students will be able to complete their current programs of study. BGSU and Mercy College are deeply committed to taking care of our students, ensuring their success and helping them learn and grow. This partnership will expand the programs offered to both Mercy and BGSU students. There are many details to be worked out, but current Mercy students will be able to graduate.

All current BGSU nursing students – both the students already studying at UT and pre-nursing students - will continue their studies as planned. Students admitted to the UT/BGSU consortium program will continue through graduation to earn their Bachelor of Science in nursing. Pre-nursing students, including this fall’s freshman class, will continue with their coursework as planned and will be able to apply to the BGSU/UT consortium.

The new program with Mercy College will take about two to three years to fully develop. In addition to the UT/BGSU pathway, current pre-nursing students may have the opportunity to complete their nursing coursework and clinical experiences through the new BGSU/Mercy College nursing program or other collaborations that BGSU is working to develop.

You are encouraged to complete an application! Applications to Mercy College are being accepted and students will continue to be admitted for upcoming semesters. This agreement will take until Summer 2019 to finalize and a full integration will take two to three years. Classes and programs will continue to be offered at Mercy College with current faculty and staff for some time. All Mercy College students will be able to complete their degrees and/or certificate programs. After the transfer of operations to BGSU, students will seamlessly become BGSU students and have expanded opportunities both in and out of the classroom.
 
It is important to remember that the agreement with BGSU will take about two to three years to complete. Until that time, nothing at Mercy College will change.

This and other partnerships BGSU is working on will ensure that you have a pathway to becoming a nurse. Transferring the operations of Mercy College to BGSU will create a high-quality, competitive nursing program with a personal touch and outstanding faculty and clinical facilities.

BGSU is still working out the details of our new relationship with Mercy College. At this point, BGSU hasn’t yet determined where you will complete your final two years of study. However, we can tell you that we’re working hard to make sure we have the best facilities possible to support you.

Both BGSU and Mercy College are committed to keeping a high-quality education affordable and in reach for our students and their families. While no decisions have been made regarding tuition, significant changes are not expected since tuition is currently similar at both BGSU and Mercy College.

We’re hopeful that this may be an option, but we don’t know yet. The new program with Mercy College will take about two to three years to develop. In addition to the UT/BGSU pathway, pre-nursing students may have the opportunity to complete their nursing coursework and clinical experiences through the new BGSU/Mercy College nursing program or other collaborations that BGSU is working to develop.

BGSU doesn’t have an answer for the exact timeline yet, but it will take until summer of 2019 for all approvals and for the transition of operations to occur. Until things are finalized, students will continue as is, graduating from their respective institutions.

It is too early to know all the specifics, but BGSU and Mercy College have existing affiliation agreements that have aligned our general education requirements for the nursing program.  Faculty from both institutions will work out the details and make the information available as soon as we know.

Academic advisers from both BGSU and Mercy College can help students map out an efficient graduation plan.

Maintaining accreditation of Mercy College programs as they become part of BGSU is a critical part of this plan. Many approvals at the state, regional, national, and professional accreditation level are needed for a transaction like this one. Seeking approval to transfer Mercy College’s current accredited programs to BGSU has already begun. During and after the transition currently accredited programs like nursing will maintain the approvals necessary to be in compliance with full accreditation.

All financial aid packages for this academic year remain as is. Keeping college affordable to students is extremely important to both organizations. BGSU and Mercy College are both currently administering federal financial aid, so we expect no changes in the availability of federal financial aid to students. Staff from Mercy College and BGSU are working out all the details about scholarships and financial aid packages. We will work together in establishing financial aid and scholarship packages to individual students for next year and beyond.

Students already enrolled, may apply for the dual degree (BSN and BAHS). As this transaction is approved and finalized, the BG/Mercy Edge program will be phased out since Mercy College will transition into BGSU.

BGSU and Mercy College are excited about this opportunity to expand the programs and experiences available to students. It is too early to know all the specifics of what will happen after this transaction is finalized. Until next summer, Mercy College and BGSU will operate as they do now. Teams of Mercy College and BGSU faculty and staff have already started to meet together to work out details and answer questions. As we have more information, we’ll provide updates.

It is too early to know all the specifics of what will happen after this transaction is finalized. Until next summer, Mercy College and BGSU will operate as they do now. Teams of Mercy College and BGSU faculty and staff have already started to meet to work out details and answer questions. As we have more information, we’ll provide updates.

Mercy College faculty and staff bring expertise and experience that will complement and enhance BGSU’s mission. Their expertise and dedication will be critical to the success of students and these academic programs. Mercy College faculty and staff will continue to be an essential part of program operations during and following the transition. Keeping faculty and employees apprised of the discussions and plans is a top priority as details are being worked out.

It is also important to remember that this transition, once finalized, will likely take two to three years. In the meantime, Mercy College will continue to operate as usual.

While we cannot promote any specific religion, as a public University, BGSU has an obligation to serve the public good. That aligns with Mercy’s mission of providing healthcare and wellness to all in need. Both institutions share common human values and goals. We both respect all religions and provide our services to all, regardless of faith. Above all, BGSU and Mercy College share the same educational mission.

We appreciate the legacy of the Sisters of Mercy and the history of Mercy College. BGSU can honor that legacy by continuing their work – graduating healthcare professionals that are prepared to serve our communities and meet the needs of patients.

These discussions are a result of a decision by Mercy Health to explore options that will enhance the student experience and to create value for the community and patients the health system serves. Moving forward, Mercy Health will focus on its core business of providing health and wellness services to the communities we serve.

The transition of the Toledo-based programs is expected to take two to three years. We are exploring options for the Youngstown location to ensure community needs are met. BGSU does not plan to expand to that market. Whatever decisions are made, all current Mercy College enrolled students will be able to complete their programs of study.

The Higher Learning Commission and other professional accrediting agencies will need to approve the transition plan. The BGSU Board of Trustees, Mercy College Board of Trustees, Mercy Health Board of Trustees and the Ohio Board of Regents will also need to approve any agreement.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in Nursing are expected to:

  • Design holistic nursing care with individuals, families, groups, and communities based on Orem's Self-Care Deficit Theory of Nursing;
  • Provide competent, culturally sensitive nursing care in a diversity of settings;
  • Use skills of critical thinking in the application of theory and research findings from nursing, other sciences, and the humanities as a basis for clinical judgments and scholarly endeavors;
  • Develop person-centered, therapeutic relationships with a commitment to individuals as unique self-determining agents;
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills (verbal, nonverbal, written, and computer-based);
  • Demonstrate consistent professional behavior;
  • Collaborate with patients, families, health care providers, and others in the provision of care;
  • Integrate principles of leadership and management in the provision and coordination of care;
  • Demonstrate self-direction in learning and professional development.


Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review

Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The consortium of The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and has provisional approval of the Ohio Board of Nursing (CCNE). For more information, click here.   

Public Notice of CCNE Accreditation Visit


Professional Licensure (If applicable)

Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Nursing program leads to professional licensure. For more information, click here.


Gainful Employment (If applicable)

Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The Nursing program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.


Specializations:

The Nursing program offers two tracks to obtain a bachelor of science in nursing degree:

  • BSN for students entering the nursing profession;
  • RN/BSN for students who are associate degree or diploma graduates and have current unencumbered license as a registered nurse.